Monday, January 27, 2020

A New Winter Squash Recipe & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  After work in town last week, I ran some errands.  A high end dog food was bought on clearance for half price at Tractor Supply.  We barely needed any groceries, so I stopped at the small local store and picked up 4 items.  Pasta Norma was made mostly from the pantry, including our canned tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic.  Another night, veggie sloppy joes and corn were made with pantry and frozen ingredients.   I defrosted a quart of milk I'd frozen when it was getting close to the sell by date, and made yogurt with it.  I caught up on the ironing on one of the cold days, while enjoying free PBS shows on our Roku TV, and was able to watch two episodes of Howard's End.  On nights with lows of 19 and 20, J kept our kitchen faucet slowly dripping.  The water was used in the humidifiers we have on the wood stove.  On especially chilly days, I often bring the chickens a treat. This time it was oats and bread ends with nettles and yogurt, warmed with hot water.  They loved it.  I also gave our cat some salmon canned food to provide some extra fat and calories, which she loved.  I learned that she is not a fan of turkey and giblets.  The pups didn't mind finishing it up for her.

Sadly, two months after J replaced my gas cap, the check engine light came on again.  At this point, he'd replaced three items in the system, and I'm due for an inspection this month, so we decided to bring it to a shop that was recommended as being reasonable.  They were indeed, and fixed it in one day for not much over $100.  The only challenge came when I took my car to be inspected, and found out I hadn't driven enough since the repair for them to get the computer reading.  I've got a couple of adventures planned this coming week to help that along.  Laundry was done,and hung on the line.  I'm so happy with how my dental procedure went.  I wasn't sure what to expect, and the only "medicine" he recommended afterwards was arnica, which I already had, and which worked perfectly.  He had also prepared me to expect an additional procedure that would have cost another $750, and it turned out that wasn't needed, thank goodness.  It's all OOP, as my healthshare doesn't pay for dental, so a definite blessing.  Paper and cardboard were shredded.  A full compost crock was taken to the outdoor bin.

The garlic seems to be doing well.  Cleaning baseboards is another chore that doesn't get done enough around here, but I can now cross that off my list.  Between the pups, wood smoke, and a busy gravel driveway, it won't last long.  Ah well, that's the nature of housework.  Trying to do another heat-producing chore, I decided to recan a #10 can of sliced black olives I had bought at the discount grocery a while back, which added 16 half pints to the pantry.  I like to use them in pizzas and omelets.  Once the jars were in the canner, I made my first ever batch of ghee, using these instructions.  With most dairy off limits per my Dr., it hadn't occurred to me to ask about ghee until my last visit.  I was pretty happy when he said ghee was fine.  I've found a reasonable plant-based butter substitute, but honestly, nothing beats real butter.  A few blooms are showing up around the homestead.  A couple of peas have come up in the garden.  I'm still enjoying my nature tree, and so far, it's not shedding many needles.

I've been enjoying trying some new things for breakfast and lunch.  For breakfast, I tried avocado toast with a fried egg and salad greens on top, and really enjoyed it.  For lunches, I've been making sandwiches with either hummus or avocado, cucumbers, lettuce and salt.  Some days I've added black olives, and have really been enjoying this too.  During the summer, tomato sandwiches are a go to for lunch, but in winter, I often had cheese sandwiches (or plant cheese recently) with lettuce.  This new combo is much better than I thought it might be, and gets me eating more vegetables.  When I was recently at the library, I ran across a cookbook from Smitten Kitchen, a blog I have followed in the past.  When I opened it, I saw a recipe for Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion galette.  I'm always looking for new things to do with winter squash, so brought the book home, and tried the recipe.  It's a time consuming recipe, but well worth it.  Broccoli was harvested to have with it the first night.  The galette leftovers were enjoyed with friends.  Lentil soup was made with home canned lentils, our garlic and leek, and I took homemade crescent rolls from the freezer to have with it.  It's good weather for soup.  Be well, friends.


daisy g said...

Your week is always filled with productivity and deep intention. I love that.
I am also using ghee, I found an easy way to make it in the oven. I have been pleased with all of the dairy substitutes I've found so far, it sure makes things easier.

I'm hoping the coldest of temperatures are behind us, but still hoping for some snow!

Enjoy your week.

Michèle Hastings said...

Thank you for sharing the butternut squash recipe. I pinned it to pinterest to try later. We still have butternut squash from our garden.
It's definitely soup weather. I had a few bags of chicken bones in the freezer so yesterday I made stock. There was enough to make soup for dinner as well some to freeze for later.

Laurie said...

Yes, I loved the oven method for ghee, as I have been known to burn things on occasion :o). It sure makes it easy. I'm with you on the snow!

Laurie said...

I hope you like the squash recipe. I probably won't make it often due to the time factor, but will definitely be keeping it. Good for you on the homemade stock. Now, if we'd just get some snow!

cookingwithgas said...

I want to make that recipe soon! Yummy eats!

Laurie said...

So glad you two could enjoy it with us!

April said...

You have spring flowers coming up! My heart soared to see them!

Laurie said...

There are a few early bloomers!

Jeannie said...

I checked out the butternut squash recipe, and oh my, a bit labor intensive I do agree. Aldi's had them on clearance a month or so ago and I bought a large box to add to my box of Tahitian butternut squash from my garden. None have been eaten yet. I forget they are down there. It is getting late in the winter and I need to begin cooking them. Now I feel guilty blogging instead of cooking squash! That is what happens when you are being lazy (no, I looked at yesterday's "to-do" list and realize I worked hard. Do you hear the argument going on in my head?

Laurie said...

Oh man, butternut squash on clearance at Aldi's! I'm sorry I didn't see that here, as the recipe used the last tiny ones I had. Wasn't a good year for butternut squash, which is my favorite. I know that argument well. Got to have some down time mixed in with the work, don't you think?

Jenny said...

Laurie, thank you for the ghee tutorial and the butternut squash recipe. I will be checking out both of these to see if I can add them to my rotation :)

*We made homemade gifts this week including spice blends and pies. I also set up an unused shelf behind my bedroom door to serve as a Gift Cupboard and added the extra spice blends, homemade body scrubs and bath soaks, and homemade wooden coasters.
*I started participating in the Vicky Challenge over at The Bluebirds are Nesting and tracked savings of over $150 for the week!
*I did well sticking to the grocery budget and using up every scrap of food. I was able to send an extra $50 to our savings goal this month since we had done so well sticking to our lower budget in several categories.
*More on my blog!

Laurie said...

Wow, sounds like you're doing a great job on filling your gift cupboard. How smart to do it now, so you don't have to scramble for birthdays and the holidays. I bet someone was delighted to get a gift of a pie. I know I would be!